September 18, 2023 | Animal Stories

Improving Omar’s appetite

Improving Omar’s appetite

Omar the donkey works hard transporting olives and pine for up to 10 hours a day near the small town of Gaâfour, in north-western Tunisia. This important agricultural work helps Omar’s owner, Hedi, earn a small income to support his wife and three children.

But recently, Hedi started to become concerned when he noticed his 11-year-old donkey had been slowing down, losing weight and becoming tired. In the mornings, Omar used to be energetic and curious. Now, the donkey seemed agitated and refused to eat or drink. When Omar showed no signs of getting better, Hedi borrowed his neighbour’s truck to travel 40 kilometres to our member SPANA’s veterinary centre in Siliana for urgent help.

When they arrived at the centre, Omar could barely stand and was clearly desperate for the pain to stop. SPANA vets gently coaxed Omar out of the truck and carefully examined him before asking Hedi questions about his donkey’s diet. They diagnosed Omar as suffering from colic, most likely from his diet of dry straw and barley. Colic is abdominal pain which can be caused by a blockage in the digestive passage. Without intervention, colic can sometimes be fatal.

The vets admitted Omar to the centre’s stables for treatment which, over the course of his five-day stay, included analgesics and anti-inflammatories to relieve Omar’s pain; laxatives to remove the blockage; and rehydration medication to restore Omar’s fluid balance.

Luckily, in Omar’s case, SPANA’s expert team was there to help, quickly identifying the problem and providing treatment for his severe case of colic. When Omar had recovered and was able to go home, the vets gave Hedi plenty of advice on how to provide the best nutrition to help Omar recover his lost weight. This advice included feeding him at regular times, soaking his feed before giving it to him, and making sure he always had access to fresh, clean water.

In two weeks, Omar had made a full recovery and was fit enough to work again, continuing to be a vital asset to his family.

Hedi was delighted to have received treatment and advice from SPANA. He said: “I am very grateful to SPANA and your commitment to taking care of Omar. Thank you!”

Thanks to your regular support, Together for Animals member SPANA has been working tirelessly to treat working animals suffering from debilitating colic. Whether they have eaten the wrong food, like Omar, or they are so hungry they have accidentally eaten something they shouldn’t, such as plastic (which is on the rise during the recent period of economic hardship), your support enables their vets to give working animals the emergency treatment they desperately need. Thank you.